While this 12-track collection of Howlin' Wolf's prime Chess material is classic electric blues music, it's a distinctly less worthy deal than the 20-track His Best. The latter anthology has the classic "How Many More Years," "Howlin' for My Darling," "Shake for Me," and "Three Hundred Pounds of Joy," none of which make it onto this briefer scoop; in fact, "The Natchez Burnin'" is the only song here that doesn't appear on His Best. Also, The Best of Howlin' Wolf uses the 1970 London Sessions version of "The Red Rooster" rather than the superior original 1961 Chess single. You can't come down too hard on a CD that has "Smokestack Lightnin'," "Wang Dang Doodle," "Back Door Man," "Spoonful," "I Ain't Superstitious," and "Killing Floor," and if it does happen to be your first Howlin' Wolf album it's a decent introduction. But it's just not long enough to be the proper introduction.
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AllMusic Review by Richie Unterberger